Kissed by an Angel
“I look like a dork.”
“You what?” Lex Luthor spoke loudly, to be heard in the other room. He was in the walk-in closet of his bedroom in his Metropolis apartment, getting dressed for the charity masquerade that started in an hour. The masquerade, an annual society event to raise money for Metropolis United Charities, was being held at the DeMarque, a luxurious hotel in the heart of the City of Metropolis. The masquerade was always held on Halloween, and costumes and masks were required. Lex normally didn’t go; Daddy sent a check for the Luthor family tax write-off. Apparently, however, Father Knows Best had decided that Lex should be put on the auction block for potential suitable wives to bid on and ordered Lex to attend.
Lex was old enough and self-supportive enough to ignore his father’s decrees, but he knew Lionel would have kept hounding him until he either went crazy or agreed to go. So, he capitulated, but on his own terms. He didn’t want a wife, not now and probably not ever. Women could not be trusted. They were manipulative, spiteful, and nine times out of ten, whiney bitches. Sex was the single thing they were good for, and Lex could get that without strings for the right price. The only women he had any love and respect for were mother figures, and two out of three of them were deceased.
That was why he’d invited his best male friend, Clark Kent, to come with him to the masquerade. He could use the excuse of Clark’s presence to deter any ardent admirers and piss off his father simultaneously. He would have to stay with Clark throughout the evening, especially since their costumes went together.
“I look like a dork,” Clark repeated his complaint from the master bathroom. “A great, big angelic dork.”
“I saw you at the store, Clark, when we chose our costume theme, and you do not look like a dork.” Lex studied his reflection in the full-length mirror. He was dressed in a crushed red velvet suit with red silk lapels, a midnight black silk shirt and tie, and spit-shined black shoes. Two inch-long black curved horns emerged from his bare skull, secured with spirit gum.
He reached for the black rose on the armoire and pinned it to his lapel. Perfect. He smiled wickedly at his mirror image and the debonair devil smiled wickedly in return.
“I only tried on the wings at the store,” Clark said plaintively. “Why did I agree to go with you again?”
“Because you’re my best friend.”
Lex put on his watch and tucked his wallet in his pocket, as he walked into the main bedroom. “How about, because I prostrated myself to your parents so that I could bring you to Metropolis for the weekend?”
“I’m still surprised you got them to say yes.” Clark exited the bathroom, stopped, and held his hands out in supplication. “If they saw me now, I have a feeling their answer would have been no.”
Lex inhaled sharply when he saw Clark. Studded leather straps criss-crossed over Clark’s tan bare chest, supporting the enormous partially folded white-feathered wings on his back. Matching leather bands encircled each of his wrists. White cotton, drawstring pants clung to his narrow hips and hugged the muscles of his thighs and calves. His bare toes peeked out the tops of his sandals.
The serenity he felt ended with a sharp, ripping pain in his chest and burning up his throat, and he vomited the water from his lungs. He gulped in harsh breaths of air, his heart hammering wildly. Tears stung his eyes, blurring his vision, when he opened them to see an angel kneeling over him.
A bright glow surrounded the dark-haired angel and he could see faint wings, semi-folded behind bare, tanned shoulders. Concern radiated from soulful eyes the color of the river that had killed him.
The irony jolted him and he blinked away the tears. The angelic traits faded away as his vision cleared, leaving only a frightened boy in a tan jacket – the same boy he’d seen on the bridge before his car went through the guardrail – kneeling at his side, body blocking the sun.
“I could have sworn I hit you,” he said. Perhaps the boy was an angel, after all.
Lex snapped out of the memory to see Clark in an angel costume standing across from him, looking worried. Lex turned away, his hand bumping the horns when he tried to run it over his scalp in a hated nervous gesture. He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “You look fine, Clark, but it’s probably better if you put on a shirt. It’s cold outside.”
“Lex, is something wrong?”
Lex waved Clark off, heading rapidly for the bedroom door. “I’m fine. Finish getting dressed. We need to get going.” He didn’t wait to hear if Clark responded.
Lex’s footsteps were silent on the carpeting as he made his way down the hall to the study. He bypassed the leather sectional sofa, flipping on the table lamp as he crossed the room to the dry bar in the corner. His hands trembled noticeably as he uncapped the crystal decanter and the glass clinked loudly as he poured himself a hefty amount of scotch. He drank the alcohol quickly, the warm burn unsuccessful in washing away the tightness in his chest.
He stared unseeingly at the shelves of books and artifacts on the wall, gripping the empty glass tightly in his hand. It had been two years since the fateful accident that brought Clark into his life; more than long enough to forget the awe he’d felt upon opening his eyes and seeing an angel. Since then, he’d learned that the angel was merely a boy with a predilection for heroics, but their initial encounter had changed Lex’s life so profoundly that he was still affected by the image of his supposedly heavenly savior.
For a long time, Lex’d had a strong case of hero worship for the mortal version of his angel. He’d stalked Clark, wanting to know everything he could about his hero, and at the same time, paid tithes to Clark by gifts, girls, and money, all of which were refused. It took until the Nicodemus incident for Clark to go from hero to friend, when Clark didn’t press for the truth about Hamilton. Lex stopped needing to know every little thing about Clark that day, and instead began to value whatever Clark was willing to give him.
Lex felt rather than heard Clark enter the study and he turned to see that Clark had donned a white t-shirt under the leather cross-straps. He now looked like an extra from a skin flick, a cabana boy waiter at a private club, as far from angelic as Clark could get. Lex was grateful. He didn’t want to be an over-emotional bundle of nerves all evening, not when he was socializing with his high society peers.
“Ready?” Lex asked Clark, setting his glass on the bar.
Clark nodded, concern still on his face. “Are you sure there’s nothing wrong? You got… weird, in the bedroom.”
“The sight of your manly bare chest flustered me,” Lex deadpanned.
Clark rolled his eyes, although color also stained his cheeks. Lex smiled at the blush, a response he relied on to remind himself that innocence still existed in the world.
He picked up the invitation and the masks – one red, one white – off the desk. He passed the white one to Clark and tucked the invitation in the breast pocket of his jacket.
”Which car are we taking?” Clark asked, as they made their way out of the apartment.
“The limo, because of your wings,” Lex replied, entering the elevator a short distance from his apartment door. He usually liked to take his own car to these events, for non-public entrances and quicker escapes. “There will be paparazzi when we get to the DeMarque. I’d rather you wear your mask as we go in, to give you some semblance of anonymity.” He gave Clark a steady look. “The tabloids might infer that we’re sleeping together, when the coverage of the masquerade is run in the papers.”
Clark blushed again and ducked his head. “I know. It’s something Dad used to try and get me to not want to come,” his face became even redder at the double entendre, “but I don’t mind.”
“Just keep your mask on and don’t tell anyone your last name at the party,” Lex said, wanting to protect Clark as much as possible. “The press would have a field day if they ferreted out that you’re under eighteen.”
“Barely under,” Clark said. “And you’re making me feel like I should have stayed home.”
“You probably should have, but I’m too selfish to allow you to change your mind.”
The limo ride was uneventful. They listened to music on the way, comfortable in each other’s presence without the need for idle chatter. Clark sat by the door on the corner of the bench seat that ran the length of the limo, to accommodate his wings. Lex surreptitiously watched him look outside the tinted window the entire trip. Perhaps the hero worship wasn’t completely gone, but as Lex had never had a true friend before, it was understandable.
The paparazzi were waiting, as predicted, when they arrived at the DeMarque. Golden ropes kept the photographers and reporters at bay, leaving a clear path of royal blue carpet from the hotel drive to the ornate glass doors. Security, wearing tuxedos, kept watch for danger and overzealous journalists. Masked couples emerged from limousines to flashbulbs and a roar of questions.
As they waited in line for their limo to pull up to the carpet, Lex put on his mask and indicated for Clark to do the same. The eye masks covered only part of their faces, fitting smoothly over their upper cheeks and noses. Lex moved to the edge of the seat, leaned over, and fixed Clark’s hair to hide the band securing the mask in place. Clark’s lower face was flushed and his eyes bright by the time Lex finished. Lex looked at him curiously. “Excited?”
“No!” Clark squeaked, shifted, and squeezed his hands in his lap. He cleared his throat and tried again. “No, I’m not.”
With that response, Lex wondered if he’d scared Clark with the paparazzi warnings. “You could still say no to accompanying me. The driver would take you back to the apartment, or Smallville if you want.”
A confused frown pulled at Clark’s mouth. “Do you not want me here?”
“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t,” Lex said. “But you said you’re not excited to be here. Are you just nervous?”
The frown deepened briefly then suddenly cleared, and Clark
ducked his head in an embarrassed gesture.
He laughed uncomfortably.
“Yeah. I’m just nervous.”
Clark was lying to spare his feelings, Lex noted unhappily. He schooled his voice so as not to reveal that he knew Clark actually didn’t want to be there. “We can escape at midnight, before your gown turns back into rags, Cinderella.”
Clark looked up at Lex from under his lashes, an almost coy smile breaking over his face. “Does that make you my prince?”
“Either that, or your fairy godmother.”
Clark laughed sincerely this time, as their limo pulled up to the carpet. Lex glanced out the window, released a quick, preparatory breath, and instructed, “Stay close.”
The charity event’s security detail opened the rear door of the limo and Lex emerged to a strobe of flashbulbs and television camera lights. Almost immediately, reporters began to call him by name; his smooth, bald scalp was a distinctive identifier, even with the costume horns and eye mask covering half his face. He ignored them all, stepping to the side to allow Clark to exit the limo.
An almost imperceptible hush rippled over the crowd of paparazzi when Clark emerged instead of the expected socialite. Then, the roar of Lex’s name crashed over Clark and Lex like a tidal wave, battering them with questions as to Clark’s identity and the status of their relationship. Security moved up and down the ropes as the reporters and cameramen pressed closer, stretching over the carpet to capture Lex’s attention.
Lex felt minutely bad for using Clark to stick one to his father. Even with the mask, Clark was visibly overwhelmed by the paparazzi. Lex was used to this sort of reaction from the press at publicized social events in Metropolis. Perhaps bringing Clark as his “date” hadn’t been such a good idea.
The limo behind them pulled away and the next in line took its place. Lex bumped Clark’s wing when he went to put his hand on Clark’s back to guide him towards the door. The gesture was automatic, something he did with all his escorts. Clark wasn’t a woman, though, and Lex aborted the move, feeling awkward by his near-mistake. The tabloid fodder didn’t need to be fueled by the implication of such a proprietary gesture.
Which was why Lex was surprised when Clark laid his hand on Lex’s lower back, standing very close beside him. Lex had never been on the receiving end of such a gesture – his dad usually guided him by the scruff of the neck. Clark’s hand burned through Lex’s clothing and onto his skin. He felt privately owned, publicly claimed, and astonishingly protected by the simple action.
He turned his head to look up at Clark. Clark met his questioning gaze with a lopsided, somewhat goofy grin, and Lex’s stomach flipped, as cameras took what was to be the front-page picture of them for their publications.
Lex was stunned by his reaction. He felt as though he was about to fence a challenging partner in a competition, all because of Clark’s intimate touch.
Clark urged him forward as more invitees joined them on the carpet. Lex’s feet moved under their own volition, taking him past the yelling paparazzi with Clark at his side, and into the DeMarque. His dazed mind caught up with them at the entrance to the Grand Ballroom, and he presented their invitation to the uniformed host at the door.
“Wow,” Clark murmured in amazement, gawking unabashedly as they entered the ballroom.
The Grand Ballroom was three-storeys high, tastefully decorated in burgundy and deep gold, and illuminated by glittering crystal chandeliers. Round tables covered with white linens circled the open hardwood dance floor. Long tables filled with hors d’ouvers and fancy pastries, the only food for the evening, stood beside an open bar with numerous bartenders waiting to serve. On the opposite side of the ballroom, silent auction items were on display, with minimum bids starting in the thousands. A small orchestra was playing from an unobtrusive corner, the soft strains of music underscoring conversation. A balcony supported by gilded columns ran the length of the room, where people could observe the area below. Pirates, courtesans, jesters, mermaids, cats, rabbits, and a variety of other costumed guests mingled in the ballroom, most holding drinks in their hands. There were also a few devils and angels present, as expected. Although Clark wasn’t the best looking angel there, he was still eyed hungrily by a number of socialites and made Lex thankful that Clark had put on a shirt.
Clark dropped his hand from Lex’s back, causing Lex to feel strangely bereft. He pushed the feeling aside, along with his other feelings induced by Clark’s hand on his back, for later examination. “Let’s get a drink before I have to start doing what I am paid to do – sling shit.”
Clark sniggered and followed Lex to the bar. Lex sidled between a dog and Milton Bradley, ordered a triple-bourbon, neat, so he wouldn’t need a refill for a while. Clark ordered a soda.
“Lex Luthor.” The masked man with floppy dog-ears and a brown suit stuck out his hand. “It’s Henry Morganstern.”
“Mr. Morganstern, always a pleasure,” Lex lied smoothly, shaking the gossiping old fool’s hand.
“And who’s this strapping lad with you?” Morganstern asked, indicating to Clark with a gleam in his eyes.
No matter how Lex answered, Morganstern would twist what he’d said to tell the best tale. Saying nothing would only made it worse. Considering everyone under the sun would know that Lex had brought another man to the masquerade by tomorrow, he might as well give the society jackals a bone. “This is my friend, Clark. Clark, Mr. Morganstern of Morganstern Plastics.”
Clark reached around Lex and shook Morganstern’s hand. “Hi.”
“Hello, Clark,” Morganstern said, looking speculative. “Such a strong name. What is it that you do?”
Translation: are you trade? Lex was used to these verbal games and innuendo, but Clark wasn’t. “Clark’s a student,” he answered for Clark, lying with the truth.
“Really?” Morganstern said. “Where do you go to school?”
“In Smallville,” Clark replied ambiguously, making Lex inwardly smile.
“Smallville? Where is that?”
“Over an hour west of here, when normal people drive.” Clark shot Lex a teasing look. “It takes fifty-eight minutes from the front door of the castle when Lex is behind the wheel.”
“A castle? In Kansas?” Morganstern laughed. “How pretentious.”
“What else to you expect from a Luthor?” Lex said dryly.
“Lex Luthor, you scamp. I recognize that chrome dome of yours!”
Lex pivoted at the loud declaration behind him, and smile broke out over his face. “Celeste Witherspoon.”
Celeste, whose green-blue hair matched her peacock mask, captured his face between her strong, bony hands and pressed matching lipstick kisses to both of his cheeks. “I have not seen you in too long,” the matron tisked. “Where have you been hiding?”
“Smallville,” Lex replied. Morganstern was thankfully claimed by someone else and walked away. “I run my own company there.”
“You are no longer the playboy?” Celeste clutched her hands to her ample bosom. “Do not tell me you have settled down?”
“That will never happen,” Lex said with another smile.
Someone nearby caught Celeste’s attention, and she patted Lex on the arm. “We will talk more later. Marjorie Drummond!” she exclaimed as she scuttled off.
Clark nudged Lex’s shoulder. Lex looked at him and answered the unasked question. “Celeste is one of the ladies on the Metropolis United Charities board. I’ve known her all my life.”
“You like her. Hold still.” Clark cupped Lex’s face and rubbed his thumb against Lex’s cheek. “Lipstick.”
“Yes, I like her,” Lex acknowledged, standing still for Clark, though he could feel people watching him being treated like a child. His tone became heavy with rhetoric. “How could you tell?”
Clark didn’t take the question as rhetorical. “When you like someone—,” the pad of his thumb brushed over Lex’s bottom lip, “—I can see your teeth when you smile.”
Lex stared at Clark, his breath hitching at the caress. Clark was going to kiss him.
He froze in place at the realization. Clark was going to kiss him. Lex had never dreamed that Clark would want to kiss him.
That was a lie. He had dreamed a few times about Clark kissing him, among other things, but he’d heard it was normal to have those types of dreams about one’s best friend. Granted, those types of dreams usually happened during puberty, but it had taken Lex a while to get a best friend to dream about. Plus, he had the excuse of hero worship. Everyone fantasized about his or her heroes.
It was quite possible Lex was panicking. Clark was going to kiss him, and Lex might just want him to do it. Lex’s stomach not only flipped, it did a whole gymnastics routine. During a charity masquerade surrounded by his peers was not really the place for him to be questioning his sexual identity. Despite what the tabloids might have implied in the past, Lex had never done anything with another guy. He’d never been interested in men, until now. Until Clark.
Clark’s face was flushed beneath his white mask, like it had been in the limo. He licked his lips, causing Lex to focus on Clark’s mouth. The thumb caressing Lex’s lower lip slid away, as Clark lowered his head and—
“Lex? Is that you?”
The high-pitched girlish squeal came from directly behind Lex, causing him to jump and spill his drink over his hand. Clark back-stepped quickly, looking embarrassed.
The girl from behind latched on Lex, pulling him around and into an embrace. He flinched and stiffened, setting her at arm’s length. A glance over his shoulder showed that Clark had vanished.
Something akin to regret and disappointment filled Lex, washed quickly away by anger at being interrupted. He glared at the blond girl dressed in eveningwear, with cat ears and a tail, recognizing her in spite of her mask. “Jennifer, what do you want?”
“Is that any way to speak to an old friend?” Jennifer pouted.
“It is when it’s you,” Lex responded unfriendly.
Jennifer’s eyes narrowed, though her tone remained sweet. “Just for that, I won’t invite you up to my room.”
The thought of having sex with her did nothing for Lex even though he knew first hand that she excelled in bed sports. Lex’s mind immediately wondered how Clark would compare, and his body seized with arousal so surprising and sharp that it hurt to breathe for a moment. He wasn’t sure if he liked it. Although, the hazy picture of waking in the same bed as Clark made Lex feel warm and gooey inside, like a chocolate chip cookie directly out of the oven.
“Save your threats, Jennifer. I’m not interested,” Lex said, and walked away. He made a beeline for the restrooms to wash off the spilt bourbon.
He was not alone in the restroom, but it was an unspoken rule not to speak to anyone but the attendant, if necessary. Lex set his glass on the marble sink and studied himself in the mirror as he washed his hands. There was a pink tinge to his face and bare scalp that made him look splotchy. The question as to why Clark wanted to kiss him when he looked like this made him color even more.
Lex swallowed reflexively, turned away from the mirror, and dried his hands with the towel the attendant gave him. His hands were shaking slightly, he noticed, and he had the urge to laugh. Clark had been going to kiss him. Clark, the shy, naïve, heroic angel-boy, had been about to kiss Lex Luthor, jaded son of Satan, full on the lips in a more-than-friendly manner.
Lex left the towel and his glass on the sink, retreated to the stalls, and locked himself in one. He hung onto the coat-peg and rested his masked forehead against the back of his hand. He took several slow, deep breaths and tried to gather his wits. Yes, it was a shock that Clark had wanted to kiss him; yes, it was an even bigger shock that Lex wanted to be kissed by Clark; and yes, it was a humongous shock that he was aroused by the thought of having sex with Clark; but it was neither the time nor place to have a nervous breakdown because of those things.
Lex pulled himself together. He had to perform his Luthorial duties, for both his own company and his eventual inherited one. Personal crises took a back seat to business… unless there was a gun pressed to his head.
Lex had left the safety of the restroom at exactly the wrong time. Someone standing just outside the restroom door grabbed him around the neck, and the round muzzle of a revolver was shoved under his chin. “Try anything and you’re dead.”
Lex almost laughed at the terse order. It figured. Out of everyone at the masquerade, he would be taken hostage. If he were still in Smallville, he would’ve expected it. Still, he wasn’t so much surprised as startled. Annoyance and resignation quickly followed. He must’ve been a damsel in a previous life, to find him in distress so often.
“Move.” The gunman’s tone was strained, which was a bad sign. It meant he was afraid, and fear made people do stupid things, like pull the trigger.
Lex moved, his own fear trickling down his spine like ice water. He seemed to be a magnet for danger, but that didn’t make it any less scary to be under the gun – literally in this case.
The guests didn’t notice that something was amiss until the gunman unloaded a bullet in the air. The shot was extraordinately loud and everyone in the ballroom was immediately silent. Although, considering the shot was fired almost next to Lex’s ear, it could be that he could simply no longer hear.
The tip of the revolver burned, as it was jammed against Lex’s neck again. He grit his teeth against the pain.
“Dean Stigler, where are you?!” The gunman sounded like he was in a tunnel, to Lex. “Show yourself, or I’ll blow his head off!”
Lex realized he was in even bigger trouble than he’d thought. The gunman wasn’t at the masquerade to rob people; he was there for a single person. To go after Stigler in such a public setting meant the gunman was fueled by fury and desperation. It would only get worse, too, because there was no way Stigler would step forward, self-preservation would see to that. Stigler might come forward after Lex was shot to prevent a second person from dying, but what good would that do for Lex, who’d be dead already?
“Stigler, I mean it! I’ll put a bullet into him!”
Lex wondered how he was going to rescue himself without getting shot in the process. The arm around his neck was tight and the muzzle of the revolver jammed firmly under his jaw. An elbow to the gunman’s gut would only cause him to pull the trigger. Kicking backwards would do the same. Lex’s best bet would be to drop like a stone to his knees.
“This is your last chance, Stigler!”
Lex dropped, his chin snapping up as he slipped past the arm around his neck, the tip of the revolver scraping against his skin. The mask covering his face came off, giving him an unobstructed view of the balcony across the ballroom, where Clark stood below a light fixture, watching in horror.
Lex’s knees hit the hardwood floor with solid thumps. The gunman’s hand came down, the revolver pointed at Lex. Clark jumped up onto the balustrade and poised on the rail.
A bright glow surrounded the dark-haired angel and he could see faint wings…
Lex’s breath caught as Clark dove forward and disappeared. The pop of the revolver firing was deafening, but the meaning behind the noise didn’t register. It didn’t matter, anyway, because Clark was suddenly landing in front of him, life-giving hand catching the bullet before it struck.
Lex blinked once, and the revolver was gone from the gunman’s hand. A lump of metal landed in his lap a beat later. He stared at it in awe. The secrets, the unanswered questions, the unusual adoption, the heroics, the lack of injuries, the feats of speed and strength, and now flight; everything clicked into place. Lex’s first assumption had been correct: Clark was an angel.
Lex looked up and saw Clark wrap his arm around the gunman’s shoulder. “Ladies and gentlemen.” Clark’s voice carried in the silence of the ballroom. “The dramatics you have just witnessed is an example of how death can be prevented by the intervention of a guardian angel. With your donations to Metropolis United Charities, you can become a guardian angel in someone else’s life. So please, donate today.”
Clark bowed. The gunman was forced to bow. Lex caught on, stood, pocketed the lump of metal, and bowed. He trailed the two out of the ballroom. Applause followed in their wake.
“Go to the apartment,” Clarks told Lex over his shoulder, as he led the gunman towards a door marked ‘no entry.’ “I’ll meet you there.”
Lex made noises of agreement and veered off to the concierge desk to call for his limo.
Lex clutched the remains of the revolver in his hand on the ride to the apartment. He’d managed to avoid the masquerade attendants’ questions by waiting for the limo outside the side of the hotel. He’d call Celeste in the morning and make up a supporting story about slight of hand and wires, a desire to liven up the party, and to make an early escape. Clark’s secret could not become known. It was a burden Lex was glad to take on, to protect Clark. He would have protected Clark’s secret from the beginning if Clark would have shared it, but he understood why Clark had not. If Lex hadn’t had a major case of hero worship and Clark spilled that he was an angel, Lex would have thought the boy was crazy and locked him up. If Clark had then continued to show his strength and invulnerability, he would’ve been on the dissection table faster than he could fly. Lex shuddered at the thought and pocketed the lump of metal.
Clark was waiting outside the luxury apartment building for Lex, wings and mask in hand. Lex dismissed the driver and led the way into the building. Clark was tense, holding himself stiffly, head bowed and eyes focused firmly on the floor, on the short ride in the elevator to the second floor. Lex said nothing until they were behind locked doors.
“Clark, it’s okay.” Lex laid a hand on Clark’s shoulder. They stood in the small foyer. “I’ve pretty much known from the beginning.”
“You’re not going to freak?” Clark said hopefully, peering up at Lex from beneath his fringe.
“No, I’m not going to freak,” Lex assured him with a smile. “I won’t promise that I’m not going to kiss your feet, especially after you prevented me from dying for the umpteenth time.”
“God, I was so scared.” Clark raised his head, echoes of his earlier horror reflected on his face. “There were so many people, but I couldn’t let you die when I could prevent it.”
“That story you made up will cover it, and I’ll verify it with Celeste first thing in the morning,” Lex said. “People will always believe the simplest explanation, in this case: actors and stage magic.”
“I suppose we should get rid of this, then.” Clark dipped into his pocket and held out his hand. In his open palm was the expelled bullet he’d stopped from hitting Lex.
Lex took the revolver remains out of his pocket and set it on Clark’s open hand. “This, too. And I’ll dispose of the Porsche and anything else I have when we get home.”
“I thought you stopped investigating me long ago,” Clark said suspiciously.
“I did,” Lex said, “but I kept the evidence I’d gathered. It’s not often one finds proof that angels exist.”
Clark’s brow furrowed. “Angels?”
Lex hesitated at Clark’s tone. “Yes, angels. That’s what you are, right? An angel?” It sounded remarkably stupid when he said it aloud, and the look on Clark’s face verified it.
“An angel?” Clark was fighting a grin and held up the costume wings. “Like, with wings and a halo angel?”
Lex pursed his lips. “I saw both when you saved me at the river, and it would explain everything you can do.”
“So could the meteorites,” Clark pointed out.
Lex’s expression was blank. He hated feeling like a fool. He hated the pity he saw in Clark’s eyes, too.
Lex retreated without another word, ignoring the call of his name. In the bedroom, he removed his suit coat, tie and shirt with precise, controlled movements, draping them over the valet. Clark came into the bedroom without knocking. Lex turned his back and headed into the bathroom, to remove his horns.
Clark came to lean in the open doorway of the bathroom, arms folded, jaw set in determination, and looked at Lex in the mirror. “You were half right. I come from the heavens, only I’m an alien, not an angel.”
“An alien,” Lex repeated skeptically.
Clark’s gaze was steady, reflected in the mirror. “As in, ‘extraterrestrial’ and not ‘illegal immigrant.’”
“You’re not lying,” Lex said slowly.
Lex stared at Clark in the mirror. Clark wasn’t an angel; he was an alien. The proof that extraterrestrial life existed was lounging in the bathroom doorway. “Holy fuck.”
Clark’s answering grin was slightly self-deprecating. He raised his hand, palm open. “I come in peace.”
Lex whipped around, looking Clark over from head to toe. He closed the distance between them. His hands flutter-touched Clark’s chest, shoulders, arms, head and face, barely landing before moving on, unable to contain his excitement. “Do you know how…” He couldn’t find an adequate description to describe the moment.
“You’re not afraid?” Clark asked seriously.
“Are you kidding? This is a relief! I thought you were an angel, for crissakes, and I’m an atheist. I didn’t know what to do.”
Clark laughed and caught Lex’s hands. “I’m so glad you’re cool with this, though my parents are going to ream me for telling you.”
“At least now I know why there’s a stick shoved amazingly far up your father’s ass,” Lex said, tracing Clark’s features with his eyes. “You look so human.”
“Don’t ask me why, or what planet I’m from, or anything like that, because I don’t know,” Clark said. “I only know that I’m an alien with a spaceship and have some really… interesting special abilities.”
“Like surviving being hit by a car at sixty miles per hour?” Lex said with a quirk of his lips.
“That’s one of my better tricks,” Clark joked. His eyes danced with happiness and mischief. “Do you want to see what else I can do?”
They were on the roof of the twenty-storey apartment building. Clark was still wearing his white t-shirt and cotton pants. Lex had lost the horns and changed into black slacks and turtleneck sweater. It was chilly outside. Lex wished he had grabbed a coat. Clark seemed oblivious to the temperature.
“Why are we up here, Clark?” Lex asked, grimacing at the ledge separating the roof from the open air that Clark was insanely standing on.
“Do you remember, the second time we met, you asked me if I believed that a man could fly?” Clark held out his hand in invitation.
Lex looked at the hand, at the ledge, at the open air behind it, and at Clark. “You have to be joking.”
“Trust me, Lex,” Clark said sincerely. “I’ll never let you fall.”
Lex cursed silently, took Clark’s hand, and let himself be pulled up onto the ledge. As long as he didn’t think about the height, or look down, he’d be fine. That still didn’t stop him from clutching Clark’s hand and shoulder in a death grip. His eyes remained glued to Clark’s.
Clark transferred Lex’s hand onto the other shoulder and wrapped both arms securely around Lex’s waist. “Stand on my feet.”
Lex did as told, tightly clasping his hands behind Clark’s neck and ignoring the creeping terror in his mind. Luthors feared nothing.
Clark’s gaze softened from anticipation and excitement into affection and tenderness. “I really like you, Lex.”
Warmth curled in Lex’s chest and spread upwards into an almost bashful smile, which Clark captured in a kiss. Surprised, Lex didn’t move as pillow soft lips pressed firmly against his own, and his mouth tingled from the contact. His stomach performed a slow, rolling flip. His eyelids fluttered shut at the gust of hot breath against his skin, causing him to melt into the kiss.
His mouth gave under Clark’s, a signal for Clark to continue. Clark exhaled with a throaty moan and clutched Lex closer to him. He slid his tongue-dampened lips back and forth against Lex’s unhurriedly.
Lex had kissed and had been kissed many times by women over the years, but he’d never reacted like this. He felt arousal tighten his groin without further touch. He felt laughter bubble in his chest and tears well in his eyes at the same time. He felt like burrowing into Clark and never leaving. He wanted to offer himself body and soul to the man kissing him as if he were the most precious thing in the universe. He was floating on air.
He was floating on air!
Lex broke away, looked down reflexively, and immediately wished he hadn’t been so stupid, because there was nothing under their feet but a very long fall.
“YAAAH!!!” the manly sophisticate squawked and clambered up Clark’s body like a monkey. Arms and legs wrapped tightly around Clark, he pressed his face against Clark’s neck, eyes squeezed shut, and shook like leaf as the terror hit him dead on. “Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god…”
A sharp gust of wind whooshed over his bare scalp, and his voice broke. “Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god…”
“I thought you were an atheist, Lex,” was murmured in his ear. “We’re inside your apartment. It’s okay. Calm down. Shh…”
It took Lex a bit, with Clark rubbing his back and talking softly, to calm down enough to mumble, “I guess I’m still not fond of heights.”
Clark sputtered in laughter, and Lex managed to lift his head. They were in the bedroom, in the middle of the bed. He could feel Clark’s thighs under him, meaning he was sitting in Clark’s lap like a big girl.
Which he was, apparently, if his enjoyment of Clark’s kiss was any indication.
Lex looked critically at Clark, whose bright smile and sparkling eyes were infectious. His heart skipped a beat at the thought of kissing Clark again. “I think you turned me gay.”
“What?” Clark said laughingly. He skimmed his hands up Lex’s back. “I think it’s the other way around. You and your purple shirts and your hungry stares and your so obvious flirting definitely turned me gay.”
It wasn’t flirting; it was hero worship, but Lex wasn’t going to correct Clark. Not when it might cause embarrassment and awkwardness on both their parts. Besides, if Clark hadn’t misinterpreted Lex’s actions as flirting, he might not have initiated the kiss that had turned Lex’s socks inside out, nor would he be kissing Lex right now as if there were no tomorrow.
Lex moaned into the kiss, threading his hands into Clark’s hair. His lips parted, and Clark dove in to tasted and stroke every nook and crevice of Lex’s mouth with his tongue. A shiver of desire raised goosebumps on Lex’s skin. He could feel Clark’s hardening length pressing against his groin and his legs tightened reflexively around Clark’s narrow waist.
“God, Lex, you taste so good,” Clark murmured.
Even if kissing another man was totally new, Lex wasn’t one to stay passive in sexual games. He twisted his fingers in Clark’s thick hair, held him still, and took control of the kiss.
But it wasn’t long before Clark engaged Lex in a war of passion, mouths clashing, tongues dueling, breathing a battle as lust ignited like canon fire, exploding in arousal that burned to the core. The edge was before Lex without warning and he crushed his mouth to Clark’s, body shuddering hard, as he crashed through the guardrail and plunged into oblivion. Clark made a keening noise in the back of his throat, and that was all Lex remembered for a few moments as his brain shut down in the wake of orgasm.
His first coherent thought was that he was undeniably gay. His second was of how much that fact would piss off his dad, which made him smile inwardly. His third was of a comment he’d made earlier, and he groaned at the badness of it. “This does make me the fairy godmother.”
Clark snorted in laughter, leaned back slightly, and winked. “I guess we know what our costumes will be next year.”